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  • Just discovered this group and am delighted to see David translating the Tao Te Ching and to be able to get closer to the Chinese characters. Looking forward to discussion and appreciation of the Tao Te Ching. 

  • I have now brought the Tao Te Ching translation and commentary up to and including Chapter Eight

  • Thank you, Massimo. It is wonderful to have personal sharing of this kind. I have done small amounts of tai Chi at various times in my life but never gone into it in depth.

  • I've always been fascinated by Taoism and started practicing thai chi in 1998 with a Chinese master in Rome. I practiced very regularly up to 1996, when many things changed  in my life. I abandoned the master (after a trip to China in which I had some disagreements with him and other disciples). I kept on practicing by myself for a long time, but with increasing difficulties. I quitted when the Buddhist practice (Thich Nhath Han first, then  vipassana, in between Mahasi and A. Chah) saturated all spaces dedicated to "spirituality" (strange word) in my mind and life. I re-started thai-chi four years ago with a local teacher, in a gym very close to my house. I discovered a more plain way of practicing, much more careful than in my previous experience about the precision of the form. My teacher also teaches Kung Fu. He frequently explains the practical (for combat)  nature of all, even minimal, gestures of thai-chi. He helps us (also with exercises in couples) in understanding the reason of each movement and the need for a continuous vigilance and control of arms, legs, spine, etc.. It is not at all a war-hungry training. It's a way for looking at things as they are. I must say: for looking at what the mind is doing, at the co-relation of mind and body, at the being-there, in space and time.  I'm amazed in discovering  aspects of myself (even unpleasant and painful) whose existence was always supposed or taken for granted but never really experienced.  My phenomenological bent (recently very much grown up at the theory and research level) is very much stimulated. I think I'm approaching a position in which Tao, Dhamma and "things themselves" are increasingly converging on the basis of a very live experience (for somebody maybe trivial and "non-spiritual").

    All the above is just for sharing and explaining a bit the kind of attitude with which I'll follow the teachings on the Tao.  

  • Annie - thank you. Lots of good things here, do explore and go on adding comments. Super. Each group has a discussion forum - such as we are writing on here - but within each discussion there is a facility for adding comments and that is where most discussions evolve.

  • Massimo, i am not a Tai Chi expert, but there may well be other people on this site who know better than I.

  • Hi, I'll see if this reaches you - not so skilled at putting word bites into the correct boxes, as demonstrated by my earlier comment re your poem David, which went to your daughters website..apologies will do better:)

    I am delighted with this arena and am experientially exploring aligned meanings within my Awakening the body teaching and practise. Great to have input and access to some scholarly minds.
  • Ah, I'm glad that this group seems to strike a chord with a number of people. I hope we can have some good discussions here. I wanted to include some Chinese wisdom on the site going beyond Buddhist sources and it did not seem to fit into the Hellenica/Pagan group so I have started this one. I want to keep the number of groups to a minimum or the site becomes difficult to find one's way around, but in this case, a new group does seem warranted. Also, there is so much in the Taoistic way of things that tallies with the atmosphere at La Ville au Roi (Eleusis) where we very much take our cue from nature. We can say it is the Way of the Gods (as in Shinto) but that Way is reveals in Nature. I agree with Kaspa that there is an interesting (fascinating even) tension between these ideas and the notion of other power in Pureland Buddhism. Lots to explore and contemplate and work with.

  • This is going to be very useful as I have always been interested in Taoism. Thank you.
  • I'm interested in knowing what I do when I do thai chi


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TEXT 道生一,一生二,二生三,三生万物。 万物负阴而抱阳,冲气以為和。 人之所恶,唯孤、寡、不谷,而王公以為称。 故物或损之而益,或益之而损。 人之所教,我亦教之。 强梁者不得其死,吾将以為教父。 TRANSLATION Tao give rise to one, one gives rise to two, two gives rise to three, three gives rise to a multitude. Everyone puts yin behind and embraces yang,Mix the qi to conserve (yi wei) peace What people find worst is to be alone, friendless and without resources, yet princes and lords are restrained (yi wei) like this. Something might occur that involves loss, yet nonetheless yield a…

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TAO TE CHING 41:Seeming paradoxes

TEXT 上士闻道,勤而行之;中士闻道,若存若亡;下士闻道,大笑之。不笑不足以为道。 故建言有之:明道若昧,进道若退,夷道若纇。上德若谷;大白若辱;广德若不足;建德若偷;质真若渝。 大方无隅;大器晚成;大音希声;大象无形;道隐无名。夫唯道,善贷且成。 TRANSLATION 上士闻道,勤而行之;When a superior person hears of the Tao, he diligently puts it into practice.中士闻道,若存若亡;When a middling person hear of the Tao, he sometimes grasps it, sometimes loses it.下士闻道,大笑之When an inferior person hears of the Tao he bursts out laughing.不笑不足以为道If he didn’t laugh it would not be the Tao. Therefore, the Book of Sayings has it:明道若昧,The bright Tao…

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TEXT 反者道之动,弱者道之用。天下万物生于有,有生于无   TRANSLATION Moved by Tao one returnsUsed by Tao one is meekAll beings under Heaven are born from desireYet desire is born from emptiness. COMMENTARY Some translators render the last line “something is born from nothing” or, even “being is born from non-being” which gives it a more ontological or metaphysical ring. I have preferred to put it in a slightly more psychological way. The character 有 you, in ordinary Chinese, means "to have” and 无/ 無 wu means "to not…

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TAO TE CHING 39: Highest Renown is No Renown

TEXT 昔之得一者,天得一以清;地得一以宁;神得一以灵;谷得一以盈,万物得一以生;候王得一以为天一正。 其致之也,谓天无以清,将恐裂;地无以宁,将恐废;神无以灵,将恐歇;谷无以盈,将恐竭;万物无以生,将恐灭;候王无以正,将恐蹶。 故贵以贱为本,高以下为基。是以候王自称孤、寡、不谷。此非以贱为本邪?非乎?故至誉无誉。 是故不欲琭琭如玉,珞珞如石。 TRANSLATION 昔之得一者,天得一以清In the past things were at one (with the Tao) ; Heaven being at one was pure;地得一以宁;神得一以灵The Earth being at one was at peace; The gods being at one had spirit;谷得一以盈,万物得一以生Crops being at one were abundant; All living beings being at one grew and multiplied候王得一以为天一正The ruler was at one by being under…

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